By SunScience on Jan 26, 2007
At eight o'clock on Saturday morning, in the knotty-pine Jakobshorn meeting room in the Waldhuus Hotel, set slightly apart across the snowy Davos valley from the rest of the hundreds of breakfasts, meetings, and sessions, the WEF Digital Divide conference reconvenes.
This is the seventh meeting, since the inception of a WEF Digital Divide Task Force in 1999 by John Chambers [ Cisco ], Eric Schmidt [ Novell ], John Gage [ Sun ], Eric Benhamou [3Com], Nobuyuki Idei [Sony ] , Heinrich von Pierer [Siemens ], Stephen Kaufman [Arrow Electronics ], and many others gathered in the IT Board of Governors meeting organized by WEF.
This initiative preceeded the 2000 G-8 summit in Okinawa, and led to the formation of the G-8 DOT Task Force on Digital Inclusion, to numerous private and public initiatives, and to several WEF initiatives, notably in Jordan.
The New York Times article by John Markoff on January 29 describes the testy early morning exchange between two of the world's leaders in bringing computer and networking technology to bear on education...and begins to explain why they disagreed, and why they agree.
The night before, at the AMD dinner held by the 50/15 Initiative, a major project led by AMD to bring network connectivity to every school in the world, Negroponte and Vint Cerf [ Google ] played music across the ten mesh-networked little machines scattered across the room....each machine playing a separate, synchronized voice.
The music application is reminiscent of GarageBand, Apple's brilliant application. Alan Kay's software derived from Squeak is on the XO....perhaps we should call it the Squeaker....and dozens or hundreds of applications are being written for it.
There will be a Java Virtual Machine on the XO, bringing a huge set of applications designed for an environment as constrained as a mobile phone.
The two hours explored new possibilities...and every participant committed to extending the initiatives to link schools, students, teachers, parents, and communities to the Internet to advance education.
Most participants have continued their participation each year; a partial list....
Nicholas Negroponte [OLPC]
- Craig Barrett [Intel]
- Michael Dell [ Dell ]
- Dan Shine [AMD]
- Henri Richard [AMD]
- Mike Long [ Arrow Electronics ]
- Stephen Kaufman
- John Gage [ Sun ]
- David Kirkpatrick [Fortune]
- John Markoff [NYT]
- Yossi Vardi
- Tae Yoo [Cisco]
- [Microcredit Intitiative]